If you are considering placing for adoption, you are looking at quality of life issues for both you and your child. We believe that no one really wants to place for adoption. It is a bittersweet experience involving a roller coaster of emotions and worries. After facilitating nearly one thousand placements we have learned there are many, many reasons why this is a reasonable, perhaps necessary choice. We respect your reasons, understand your doubts and will do our utmost best to address your personal concerns with competence and compassion.
Our goal is to put you back in control of your life, explore your rights and choices and the resources available to you. Exploring adoption doesn’t mean commitment or pressure to decide. It means you will have a greater understanding of your choices before it becomes necessary to make one of them. Knowledge IS power.
If you decide adoption is a wise choice for you and your child, you can choose between a fully Open Adoption or Closed Adoption. Adoptive parents through our agency are committed to following the birthparents’ wishes in the type of adoption desired.
These are couples who are ready in all ways to become parents and are hopeful a birthparent will choose them for placement. They have all passed a rigorous evaluation for readiness to adopt and parent. They have come to our agency not only build their family but also to make certain their birthmother is cared for and supported for her courage and sacrifice.
Open Adoption is about choosing the adoptive parents and knowing them well enough to trust them with your precious child. It involves studying portfolios of hopeful adoptive parents, choosing, meeting, and establishing a relationship with them prior to the birth. With an open adoption you have the option of direct and ongoing contact with adoptive parents both pre and post birth.
• Open adoption gives a child some of the most fundamental answers he needs in life because his birthparent(s) have chosen the new parents and met at least one time.
• Open adoption gives parents the tools they need to better understand their child.
• Open adoption answers two of the most basic questions asked by birthparent: Is my child safe? How does my child feel about me?
• Open adoption provides less worry for birthparents empowers them with basic choices and rights.
A level of openness is really about the process of setting up the adoption and the choices a birthparent makes at that time. Studies support openness in adoption for all parties. They also have shown us that children are not confused by open adoption.
We respect the wishes of birthparents who prefer to have little or no contact with the adoptive parents and want to have a closed adoption. Birthparents can elect not to choose the adoptive family and just give us general guidelines to follow in making selections. The birthparents can decide later to open the adoption and will have our help in making this happen.
Whether open or closed adoption, the birthparents are not obligated to remain in contact following the placement. We have learned over the years that birthparents may fear there will be obligations placed on them for future contact. The need for contact varies from person to person and with life circumstances.
You can contact us at any time during your pregnancy and delivery, or after your child is here. We are available for birthparents by cell phone on a 24 hour basis. You can also leave a text or email message on our site.
We often are asked if there is enough time to make a plan after delivery – and the answer is YES. If you are parenting a young child and /or you have a child in foster care and want to explore options, do not hesitate to call us.
If you are considering adoption we will provide you with portfolios of ready adoptive couples. These home studies involve careful screening, education, and preparation for open adoption. These are couples who are unable to have a child and are very ready and anxious to start their family.
The placement of the baby comes when a birthmother is ready for this step, usually at the time of hospital discharge. If the adoptive couple lives out of our area, we request they spend several days post birth here to remain in contact and so birthparents can see their baby out of the hospital. We have learned that birthparent need for contact with their baby is very individual and deserves utmost respect for a smooth transition.
We can assist you in clarifying your needs, hopes, and fears about this process. Counseling time is confidential, personal, free, and we can come to you. Whatever your final decision, you will have our support during and afterwards. This is your child and your life.
You are not committed to the adoption until after the birth of your baby and you have made that final choice to place with your adoptive couple. Paperwork is usually filed with the Court several days after the birth, and includes a written contract for ongoing contact if you decide on an open adoption.
Many of our birthparents have maintained lifelong friendships with their adoptive family and others have chosen to have little or sporadic contact post placement. Some birthparents prefer to not maintain contact but can go forward in life with peace of mind and also knowing they can request contact anytime in the future. Either choice is very normal and respected.
Contact after the placement is guaranteed to be available by signed agreements placed in court record. The level of contact is face to face, by email / text, letters and pictures and is determined by the wishes of the birthparent(s).
Our adoptive families are from Washington, Northern Idaho and Eastern Oregon.
We take the position that your child should be with you the birthparent or with the adoptive parents of your choice. We will help you develop the birth and placement plan that is unique to your needs.
We are known for our care of birthparents during their pregnancy and post-birth with such things as:
- Housing, transportation, communication, food, clothing and related material needs. An emergency fund is set aside for birthparents.
- Legal approval for adoptive parents to provide support to their birthparent. And if you are employed and lost income during delivery and recovery, we make sure the lost wages are reimbursed.
- Develop resources for material needs and help with transportation issues. Bette Hayward, our Birthparent Needs Assistant is happy to tackle almost any birthparent need.
- Assist in meeting with the couple you select and support you in developing a personal relationship and/or plans for ongoing contact with them if you desire.
- Help address the legal situation, birthfather rights, or medical needs and there to help with personal or family counseling.
We will not terminate mothers’ rights before completing the rights of the father. In other words, it is possible for you to place your baby as planned but retain custody until birthfather rights have been legally terminated. We do not expose a birthmother to the potential of losing her child to the putative father because she has chosen to place for adoption.
If the birthfather is involved and supportive we include him in the planning.
If the birthfather is not involved and you have questions about his potential rights, know that competent help is here to answer your concerns and address the legal issues for you. We will handle the birthfather communication and termination of rights. It is not necessary to have his permission for you to proceed with adoption planning.
In the state of Washington, any potential birthfather has the right of notification before an adoption can happen. We do not need to prove parentage through a DNA process. If a possible father is unwilling to sign a consent and / or he cannot be identified or located, his rights can still be terminated for the adoption.
If you are at risk of Child Protective Services involvement post-birth you have the absolute right to work with a private agency to be in control of placement planning. If your child is already in foster care and / or dependency, you still have the right to consider adoption with our agency, thus regaining control and an open adoption. We encourage anyone with questions about their potential right to seek an open adoption to contact us as soon as possible.